Discover cultures from around the world through arts, crafts, and street food at the Northwest Folklife Festival, returning to Seattle Center over Memorial Day weekend. Northwest Folklife via Facebook

Welcome to May, the homestretch of spring that brings with it a host of major local happenings, fun holidays, and chances to reap the bounties of April showers. As we do every month, we've compiled the biggest events you need to know about in every genre, from Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day to the Northwest Folklife Festival, from the Seattle International Film Festival to Seattle Beer Week, and from Mother's Day events to Cinco de Mayo parties. If all of that isn't enough, you can also look ahead to the rest of this year's big events, see our list of cheap & easy year-round events, or check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

Found something you like and don't want to forget about it later? Click "Save Event" on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.

    MAY 1

    HOLIDAYS

  1. May Day
    May Day is both a pagan celebration of springtime and International Workers’ Day. If you’re looking for something involving flower crowns and a maypole, the folks behind the summertime Fremont Solstice Parade are putting on their annual May Day event at Woodland Park, where you can witness the crowning of the Green Man and May Queen. On the more political side, labor organization El Comité is organizing their 20th annual May Day March for the Rights of Immigrants and Workers in Judkins Park. If you’re interested in learning more about economic history, check out one of the film screenings and talks put on by the month-long communist-associated festival Red May in order to encourage Seattleites to “take a vacation from capitalism,” or visit the UW Allen Library’s continuing Seattle General Strike Era & Centilia Tragedy of 1919 exhibit.

    MUSIC

  2. Epik High
    South Korean hiphop collective Epik High is credited with being one of the main groups to globally popularize their genre. They'll perform tracks from their nine studio albums.

    Black Fret Seattle Concert Series
    Stephanie Anne Johnson & The Hidogs 9/23 at 8pm
    Tickets are on sale now for The Stranger’s 1st Annual SLAY Film Festival!
    Ghosts, zombies, slashers, witches, Eldritch beasts, gore-- SLAY has something for every horror fan!
    Seattle's most scenic happy hour is on Blake Island
    Enjoy local beer, wine, and specialty cocktails outside. Available Wed-Sun, 3:30 pm - Close

  3. Peter Bjorn and John, Jonathan Something
    It’s been 13 years since Peter Bjorn and John released “Young Folks,” but I bet you still recall that whistle-laden, syrupy-sweet and sticky indie-pop track from 2006, because it was picked up by the mainstream and ruined in the mainstream way: ubiquity. That shit was everywhere for a hot minute. A lot of evolving and five albums' worth of music has happened since then, including last year’s Darker Days. PBJ have retained that quality of bright, catchy introspection, especially in tracks like the fun-swinging “One for the Team,” though they explore the title’s darker sonic territories in “Every Other Night,” which sounds like early ’80s post-punk, and the slinky grooving burn of “Sick and Tired.” Pitchfork calls it their strongest outing since Writer’s Block (which spawned “Young Folks”), and while I hate agreeing with that online rag, in this case, they might be right. LEILANI POLK

    PERFORMANCE

  4. Cat & Nat: #MOMTRUTHS Live
    Get an uncensored take on motherhood and its pitfalls and joys from the best friends/podcast hosts Cat and Nat as they appear live.

    READINGS & TALKS

  5. Mary Norris: Greek to Me
    New Yorker copy editor Mary Norris is a philhellene (that's a Greek-derived work for a lover of Greek things!). Her new book will give you all new reasons to love Greek culture, food, language, history, and mythology. She'll be interviewed by Edward Wolcher.

    MAY 1–31

    SPORTS & RECREATION

  6. Bike Everywhere Month
    Whether you're a longtime cycler or a relative newbie, Bike Everywhere Month invites you to (you guessed it) ditch all other modes of transportation for your faithful two-wheeler for the entire month of May. To keep you motivated, there will be plenty of celebrations, challenges, and group rides throughout the month, including Bike Everywhere Day on May 17.

  7. Seattle Mariners 2019 Home Games
    Seattle's MLB team's 2019 home season includes games this month against the Chicago Cubs (May 1), Oakland A's (May 13–14), Minnesota Twins (May 16–19), Texas Rangers (May 27–29), and Los Angeles Angels (May 30–31).

    MAY 2

    FOOD & DRINK

  8. Kwame Onwuachi Chef's Dinner
    Chef Kwame Onwuachi, who runs the restaurants Kith and Kin and Philly Wing Fry in Washington D.C., will visit JuneBaby for a special chef's dinner to celebrate the release of his new book Notes From a Young Black Chef, which imparts the tale of the opening and spectacular failure of his highly anticipated restaurant Shaw Bijou.

    READINGS & TALKS

  9. Bill McKibben: Falter
    Author and activist Bill McKibben has been on the front lines of the fight against climate change for decades, and as everyone north, east, south, and west of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue seems to realize, the news about our warming planet gets a little more dire each day. Why are Americans still debating the existence of climate change as the world burns around us? For that, we can thank the oil industry in general and Exxon in particular. McKibben will review our fraught history and (hopefully) tell us just what to expect as the world keeps warming up. KATIE HERZOG

  10. Word Works: Min Jin Lee on Having Faith
    The literary hit Pachinko, following a Korean family over 70 years, was Min Jin Lee’s second novel. It took her 25 years to write. In this lecture, which will no doubt be a boon to aspiring but frustrated novelists out there, Lee will speak about having faith in herself and her book through all that time.

    MAY 2–5

    FILM

  11. Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival
    Here is something that Seattle should take pride in. We have the world's largest trans film festival. Not Berlin, not London, not New York City—but Seattle. The festival is called Translations, and it features a bunch of films from places that do not have the largest trans film festival. CHARLES MUDEDE

    MAY 2–31

    ART

  12. FORGE Currents 2019
    This is the final show that Mount Analogue will be hosting in its current form. The interdisciplinary publishing studio, small press bookshop, installation gallery, and community space will be closing in June, turning into a more amorphous artistic project by founder Colleen Louise Barry. This is a sad fact, but the send-off show is sure to be “dynamic, celebratory, variegated, and vibrant,” helmed by last curator-in-residence Matthew James-Wilson, editor in chief of FORGE. Art Magazine. The exhibition will feature artists from across the nation and include textile art, comics, video, digital art, and more. I heard Molly Soda’s work might even make an appearance! JASMYNE KEIMIG

    MAY 2–JUNE 1

    ART

  13. Akio Takamori: To Be Human
    The late Seattle-based ceramicist Akio Takamori breathed a different kind of life into his figurative sculptures—they somehow feel drawn, composed not of earthenware or clay, but of pigment and ink. They sometimes remind me of the softness, the pliability of my favorite dolls. Born and raised in Japan, Takamori’s largely autobiographical work engages the history of both Eastern and Western aesthetics, and the themes of cultural identity that ricochet between them and through him. In this show at James Harris Gallery, Takamori’s sculptures will be paired with related prints of his own making. JASMYNE KEIMIG

  14. Albert de Belleroche: The Lithography of Belle Epoque
    A lithographer, painter, and onetime model for John Singer Sargent, Albert de Belleroche was born in Wales but spent most of his life in Paris and England. Retiring and modest, he's far from a household name, but his paintings and prints can be found in many museum collections.

    MAY 3

    FILM

  15. 'Ask Dr. Ruth' Opening
    On a recent episode of The View, 90-year-old sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth warned the roundtable of women that threesomes are "very bad" for a marriage. "Do not engage in a threesome," she said, "because that third person might be a better lover." This is bad advice. Have threesomes. But this documentary isn't about Dr. Ruth's advice, it's about Dr. Ruth. And damn, her story is long overdue for a good documentary. She is a pioneer—and a very funny one. CHASE BURNS

  16. 'Long Shot' Opening
    A super-successful diplomat (Charlize Theron) hires a journalist (Seth Rogen) she knew as a kid to be her speechwriter as she runs for president. The trouble-making scribe stirs up wrath amongst her posher advisers, but she finds herself increasingly under his spell.

    MUSIC

  17. ionnalee | iamamiwhoami, Allie X
    Swedish singer and experimental artist ionnalee released her first solo album-film combo titled Everyone Afraid to Be Forgotten in 2018, and will perform selections from it and her latest mixed media folklore tales.

    READINGS & TALKS

  18. An Evening with the Clintons
    No matter how you feel about this particular power couple, there is no denying that they’re two of the most important political figures of our lifetime. While I doubt we can expect much insight into the most famously troubled of marriages, they’ll be in Seattle as part of a national speaking tour, where they’ll discuss his time as president, hers in the Senate and as secretary of state, and, of course, the most shocking night in American politics: November 8, 2016 (never forget). KATIE HERZOG

    MAY 3–4

    COMEDY

  19. Tom Segura: Take It Down Tour
    Segura is one of those beardy, vaguely familiar comedians who dominates in the realm of making observations about American society and his own life with equal wryness. In his latest Netflix special, Disgraceful, he covers topics ranging from losing weight on a public platform and the unintended consequences of being the inspiration for someone who wants coaching (“‘Please give me a message to get this thing kick-started.’ I’ll give you a message. When you look in the mirror, do you say, ‘I fucking hate you?’ Then you’re not ready. Cry more and eat less. Send.”), to disabilities that aren’t funny, except when they are. (“Some people experience head trauma. Not funny. But they wake up speaking their native language with a foreign accent. Very funny.") He also hosts a solid podcast, Your Mom’s House, with comic wife Christina Pazsitzky. LEILANI POLK

    FESTIVALS

  20. Crosscut Festival
    In the style of the New Yorker Festival, local news site Crosscut presents two days of timely conversations with journalists, authors, and politicians. This year's highlights include Valerie Jarrett (who served as a senior adviser for President Barack Obama), Janet Napolitano (the former Secretary of Homeland Security), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas, Pod Save the People host DeRay McKesson, Washington Post investigative reporter Emma Brown, KUOW Online Editor and former Stranger staffer Sydney Brownstone, and many others.

    FILM

  21. HUMP! Film Festival Rescreening
    Missed Dan Savage's boisterous festival of amateur porn, HUMP!, back in November? No worries! The films will be re-screened in all their raunchy glory. This year's festival was wilder than ever, full of kink, queerdom, and...human goats? so don't miss out.

    MAY 3–5

    GEEK & GAMING

  22. Crypticon 2019
    Crypticon will fill the DoubleTree with hundreds of gorehounds, bloodsluts, zombbros, and creepazoids. Dress up and enter the cosplay contest, compete in the writing and horror makeup competitions, browse haunted Cthulhu/zombie/vampire/etc. goods, and party on the 13th floor.

    MAY 4

    ART

  23. Inscape Open House
    The former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service building was turned into Inscape artist studios, and its doors have opened very few times since. Now is your chance to peek inside Inscape and see what these artists working in "painting, neon drawing, photography, [and] clothing design" have been doing all this time, on all five floors. Special exhibitions will include SPoCS (Seattle People of Color Salon)'s WS Is BS: Contemporary Non-Western Indigeneity and work by barry johnson in the basement.

    FESTIVALS

  24. Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day
    On the first Saturday of May for almost a century, hundreds of recreational boats have paraded from Portage Bay through the Montlake Cut for Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day to celebrate the official opening of Seattle's boating season. Watch from the shore as adorned vessels boast live bands and giant floats—this year's theme is "Boating Through the Decades." It's also a tradition for people on board to throw water balloons at shore-dwellers, so practice your reflexes. Come early to check out the Windermere Cup, a regatta featuring the University of Washington and other college crew teams from across the country (and Germany!). To make those international guests feel welcome, and to appeal to Seattle’s beer-loving public, the weekend will kick off with Friday's German-style Party on the Cut, complete with booze, lederhosen, lawn games, and live music.

    FOOD & DRINK

  25. Seattle Bacon and Beer Classic
    At this festival, munch on unlimited salty, crunchy pork from more than 30 local chefs and sip crisp brews and ciders from more than 100 regional breweries. Plus, participate in a blind beer taste test, a bacon-eating contest, and activities like giant Jenga.

  26. SLU Saturday Market Opening Day
    Seattle's "makers, finders, and foodies" will sell their wares for yet another season at the South Lake Union Saturday Market.

    GEEK & GAMING

  27. Free Comic Book Day
    Free Comic Book Day is the most wonderful time of the year for comic enthusiasts—it's when publishers shell out special issues and deals on popular titles like Spider-Man, Doctor Who, and The Avengers, along with lesser-known indie titles like Strangers in Paradise and Silver. Head to local shops to take advantage of free (or otherwise cheap) finds, attend readings, and meet people who love comics as much as you do. This year's event falls on Star Wars Day, so you might expect some special intergalactic material.

    MUSIC

  28. Y La Bamba, Tres Leches, Warren Dunes
    Oh my god, Y La Bamba are so good. So good, it's hard to describe why what they do works so well. I will try: Imagine the sound of a guitar but expressed as light through a crystal, then converted back into sound. Slather Luz Elena Mendoza's folky, craggy, beautiful vocals on top, and you have sonic gold. I'm listening to "Cuatro Crazy" right now, a single off their newest album, Mujeres, and it's like pure summer, or sunshine. JASMYNE KEIMIG

    SPORTS & RECREATION

  29. Kentucky Derby
    The Kentucky Derby (also known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports" by people who own one or more floppy hats) will return for the 145th year. Twenty horses with names like Omaha Beach, Maximum Security, and Long Range Toddy will gallop around Kentucky's Churchill Downs at full speed before an audience of drunk people in floral prints. If being there in person isn't an option, check out our complete Kentucky Derby calendar for all the ways to celebrate in Seattle, including W Bellevue's Derby Party and Re:Public's brunch and trip to Emerald Downs.

    OPENING MAY 4

    COMMUNITY

  30. Wild Waves 2019 Season
    The sun is back, which means Wild Waves is back open for business. The family-friendly theme and water park offers rollercoasters, family rides, carnival games, and drive-in movies.

    THROUGH MAY 4

    PERFORMANCE

  31. Queer, Mama. Crossroads
    Though Invisible Man was written more than 60 years ago, the politics of recognition are still with us today, as a new play, Queer, Mama. Crossroads (written by local poet and performer Anastacia-Reneé, and codirected by her and Aviona Rodriguez Brown) makes abundantly clear. Though the subjects of the play—which is short, direct, poetic, and charged with powerful emotions—are black, they are also queer women. That second identification makes them even more invisible than the invisible man. They simply and painfully live in a society that cannot and refuses to see them either in life, or death. The three main characters in Queer, Mama. Crossroads are the ghosts of women whose lives ended violently. One is named Forgotten (Simone Dawson); another, No Hashtag (Kamari Bright); the third, Invisible 1 (Ebo Barton). They speak to us from the crossroads, the place where the numerous souls of dead black people, black women, black queers, journey to demand recognition. They want to be known, named, counted. CHARLES MUDEDE

    MAY 4–5

    MUSIC

  32. Flor de Toloache, The Cumbieros, La Misa Negra
    Toloache is kind of flower you can find growing in Mexico, where it’s used to concoct love potions. New York City’s first all-female mariachi takes its name from this flower and, like its namesake, makes you fall in love with them. Their 2014 self-titled debut earned them a Latin Grammy nomination in the Best Ranchero Album category. In 2017, they took home that golden award for Las Caras Lindas, their second album. Co-founded by Mireya Ramos and Shae Fiol, Flor de Toloache melds pop and R&B influences with traditional mariachi songs and instruments, creating a new space for mariachi fans old and new. I’m turning up to “Besos de Mezcal”! JASMYNE KEIMIG

    MAY 4–19

    PERFORMANCE

  33. Carmen
    In the popular imagination, opera is everything that Carmen is not: ungainly, grandiose, psychologically cartoonish, full of eardrum-bashing orchestration rather than sinuous, sexy tunes. But Georges Bizet's Carmen is dark, intimate, catchy, and closer in plot to a film noir than an epic. Expect Seattle Opera to bring a thoughtful and nuanced perspective, carefully handling the dated theme of the exotic femme fatale. JOULE ZELMAN

    MAY 4–25

    FESTIVALS

  34. Red May 2019
    This annual, intellectual "vacation from capitalism" offers new takes on Marx, equality, and economics in community spaces. Hear such talks as "The People's Republic of Walmart" (about whether the Waltons have unintentionally fostered conditions ripe for Communist transformation), "The Afterlife of Reproductive Slavery" (about the legacy of enslaved black women being used for breeding), "The Secret History of Marxist Alien Hunters" (fairly self-explanatory), and more.

    MAY 4–OCTOBER 14

    ART

  35. Seattle Style: Fashion/Function
    Seattle fashion, whether utilitarian or glamorous, will be the focus of this exhibition drawing on the Museum of History & Industry's clothing collection. The organizers say it'll be the "most significant" display ever of the PNW's regional fashion.

    MAY 5

    FILM

  36. 'Her Smell' Opening
    In the new film from Alex Ross Perry (Queen of Earth, Golden Exits), the indefatigable Elisabeth Moss (whose four front teeth I could probably write a love letter to) plays Becky Something, leader of the riot grrrl band Something. Over the course of five acts, Becky slowly descends into complete self-destruction: using drugs, fighting with her bandmates, spurning her family, bringing in a hack shaman to cleanse her of her problems. The New York Times calls this flick “relentless,” while Consequence of Sound says Moss “throws her entire being into the role.” My bet is that this film is a portrait of rock and roll we haven’t quite seen before. JASMYNE KEIMIG

    HOLIDAYS

  37. Cinco de Mayo
    Technically, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. In the United States, it's also a day to celebrate Mexican American culture. Find all the ways to celebrate in Seattle on our Cinco de Mayo calendar, including a party at El Centro de la Raza, Seattle Center's Taco Truck Challenge, Nectar's Flor de Toloache mariachi concert, and Magnuson Park's Margarita Mayhem 5K.

    THROUGH MAY 5

    PERFORMANCE

  38. Singlet
    Erin Markey's surprising, left-field humor pervades Singlet, which explores the edges of the sexual attraction within friendships. The play features two actors, Markey and Emily Davis, who seamlessly transition between several different characters as they break and rebuild the boundaries of their constantly shifting relationship. The show opens up with Davis and Markey nose-to-nose. Together they trying to reach "the holy grail of clothes," as Markey described it, which is fitting into an extra-small shirt. The campy critique of feminine expectations is hilarious, casually and cleverly revealing the characters' deep psychological issues even as they skim along the surface of their relationship. In the next scene, the two play coaches co-teaching a social studies class. That dynamic morphs into a kinky role play scene between a coach and student, which then morphs into even stranger and more intimate relations. Markey's impossible-to-categorize, genre-bending work is the perfect inaugural piece for WET's new GUSH series. Samie Spring Detzer, WET's artistic director, envisions the new slot as a way to inject some cutting-edge, experimental, contemporary theater into Seattle's scene. RICH SMITH

    MAY 6

    READINGS & TALKS

  39. Charles Johnson: Night Hawks
    In an interview with the New York Times, Charles Johnson said the title story in his new collection of short fiction, Night Hawks, emerged from "15 years of spirited eight-to-10-hour dinner conversations here in Seattle" with his friend August Wilson, the greatest playwright to ever scribble away an afternoon in a cafe on 15th Avenue. If that is not enough of a reason for you to pick up the book or listen to the MacArthur Genius/National Book Award–winning author read from it, then you don't deserve to read anything ever again. RICH SMITH

  40. Ian McEwan: Machines Like Me
    Ian McEwan turns to sci-fi tropes to explore the suddenness of change in human relationships in his newest novel, Machines Like Me. The book is set in an alternate-universe 1980s-era London, one in which the gay computer genius Alan Turing was not driven to his death, and where a workshy tax cheat named Charlie impulse-buys one of the first artificial humans. Together with his crush, Miranda, an upstairs neighbor who's a doctoral student, they co-program their new synthetic friend—with momentous consequences. According to NPR's Heller McAlpin, McEwan disgusted sci-fi fans with his casual disparagement of the genre, but he seems to have brought some interesting twists on old ideas.

  41. Nell Freudenberger: Lost and Wanted
    When a rationalist physics professor, Helen, gets a call from her somewhat estranged—and recently deceased—friend Charlie, she's understandably perturbed. This doesn't stop her from moving across the country to be closer to Charlie's parents. When her young son starts glimpsing Charlie in their house, she is increasingly drawn into Charlie's former life. Maureen Corrigan has called this heartfelt novel "gorgeous," while NPR noted that it "uses dense scientific concepts to illuminate everyday emotions." Claire Dederer will host this evening with the author.

    MAY 7

    FILM

  42. 'Tolkien': Live from the Montclair Film Festival with Stephen Colbert
    The soon-to-be-released biopic Tolkien, with Nicholas Hoult playing the author of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, will no doubt be a grand occasion for fantasy nerds. Watch a simulcasted Q&A from the Montclair Film Festival with Hoult, co-star Lily Collins, and director Dome Karukoski, moderated by the Tolkien fan to rule them all, Stephen Colbert.

    MUSIC

  43. Passion Pit
    Michael Angelakos can be counted on to deliver infectiously saccharine synth-pop as Passion Pit, which is both his solo project (he writes, records, and produces all the studio LPs by himself) and a band (on the road, the singer/keyboardist is joined by musicians on guitars, synths, bass, and drums). He self-released Passion Pit’s fourth and last album, Tremendous Sea of Love, which is just as joyously uplifting as we all expected, and as the title suggests, although the title track is surprisingly gauzy and abstracted. LEILANI POLK

  44. St. Lucia
    St. Lucia is a band begun by Jean-Philip Grobler, a South African–born musician now making dreamy, gauzy electro-pop in Brooklyn. The blogosphere loves him, and if you're a fan of M83ish synth dramatics, you will, too.

    READINGS & TALKS

  45. Kara Swisher
    The world is hungry for someone to talk back to Big Tech, and journalist Kara Swisher is currently doing that on the daily. She does it through her column in the New York Times op-ed pages, through her Twitter megaphone (1.3 million followers and counting), through her popular Recode Decode podcast, on cable, via live-streamed chats and rants, and during onstage interviews with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates at various packed tech conferences that she helps organize. It makes one wonder how Swisher came to seemingly possess, in human form, the same massive information processing power controlled by the companies she covers. Because it's not just the back talk that people want. They're equally hungry for someone to explain how Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, and other digital behemoths ended up swallowing, chewing up, and spitting out, in countless ADD-friendly bites, the world as it once existed—and Swisher explains that, too. RICH SMITH

    MAY 8

    MUSIC

  46. Dance Gavin Dance, Don Broco, Hail the Sun, CoVet, Thousand Below
    Sacramento-based post-hardcore (not dance, surprisingly) band Dance Gavin Dance will headline with support from Don Broco, Hail the Sun, CoVet, and Thousand Below on their Artificial Selection tour.

  47. Léon
    Swedish songstress Léon uses '70s dance club vibes and layered personal narratives to empower pop tracks that would otherwise be bland with a less impassioned performer.

    MAY 8–9

    MUSIC

  48. Beach House
    There is something so rich and sumptuous about the seventh outing from dreamy Baltimore pop duo Beach House, aptly titled 7. Something about it feels so very Seattle—moody, gray, and damp, yet stunningly awash in color and sparkling and glinting with a peek of sun. Which is exciting, because I loved Beach House after their 2008 debut, Devotion, but felt pretty blasé about everything that came after, up until 7. You know who also loves Beach House? Charles Mudede. When I asked him why, he replied, “They relax me… I love that exhausted mood.” Which I never really thought about, but it makes perfect sense: Their music is dazzling, yet the ethereal lassitude envelops you like a warm sonic blanket. LEILANI POLK

    MAY 8–JUNE 23

    PERFORMANCE

  49. Million Dollar Quartet
    Hear music by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins in this dramatization of the legendary recording session of 1956.

    MAY 9

    COMEDY

  50. Vir Das
    Extremely popular Bollywood comedian and actor Vir Das (who has appeared in films including BadMaash Company, Delhi Belly, and Revolver Rani, and has performed stand-up comedy all over the world) will grace humble Seattle.

    MUSIC

  51. Jai Wolf
    Producer Jai Wolf has been gaining notoriety for his adept skill at blending pop and hiphop elements, gaining high profile fans like Skrillex, and collaborating with Alesso, Dirty South, Melanie Martinez, ODESZA, and more.

  52. Joseph, Haley Johnsen
    Once upon a time, a band of three sisters blessed the land with voices as sweet as ambrosia. It sounds like a fairy tale, complete with dense, melodic ballads calling forth the spirit of the Pacific Northwest with lush, honeyed harmonies. Joseph are at their natural, earthy best when inclined to the folky side of the pop-folk spectrum, so let’s hope that facet will shine through in their set. AMBER CORTES

    READINGS & TALKS

  53. Melinda Gates
    The businesswoman and global women's rights activist will talk about the "link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies" as she presents her book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.

    MAY 9–10

    MUSIC

  54. Brahms Concerto Festival
    The timelessness and simple elegance of Johann Brahms' compositions will be revealed with this two-night performance of his First Piano Concerto and Double Concerto on Night One and his Second Piano Concerto on Night Two.

    MAY 9–12

    PERFORMANCE

  55. Neve Mazique-Bianco: Lover of Low Creatures
    Sara Porkalob will direct this world premiere from Neve Mazique-Bianco, a disabled dancer and choreographer who incorporates movement from contemporary, jazz, and ballet. This show promises to be a "sung-through Nubian musical ballet that tells the coming-of-age story of a young, biracial, disabled, queer child growing up deep in the heart of white, small-town New Jersey." Mazique-Bianco brings in "punk… vogueing… and Zar, a trance ritual dance originating from the Horn of Africa" to tell the story. I've never seen Porkalob direct a contemporary-dance-musical before, and Mazique-Bianco's work fuses styles I've also never seen before—punk and Zar??—so I can't wait to see this. RICH SMITH

    MAY 9–19

    FOOD & DRINK

  56. Seattle Beer Week 2019
    Seattle’s craft beer scene is always alive and bubbling with activity, but during Beer Week, that geeky enthusiasm gets kicked into high gear, with a stacked lineup of beer dinners, festivals, socials, pub crawls, and releases galore. This year, the festivities will include Cask-O-Rama (12 casks from Seattle breweries on the bar top) at Beveridge Place Pub, Women in Beer (an annual celebration of female brewers that benefits Planned Parenthood), a cheddar sandwich competition at Hellbent Brewing, a beer-can derby at the Pine Box, various beer and doughnut pairings, and way more.

    MAY 10

    ART

  57. Legendary Children
    Presented in partnership with Seattle Public Library, SAM’s Legendary Children is one of Seattle's best cultural events. The night is free (although you should RSVP because it sells out) and features great performances, DJs, and art from Seattle’s QTPOC communities. The upcoming Legendary Children will be programmed around SAM's buzzy new exhibition, Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer, which will be open and free during the event. CHASE BURNS

  58. A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes Opening Party
    The fashion exhibition A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes will open with a bang, featuring two wonderful local acts: the musician Grace Love (Mike Nipper: "Love, both with the True Loves and solo, has excited casual listeners and dance floors across the globe, a bumping testimony to Seattle soul") and the storytelling series She Is Fierce. Plus, the Make Fashion community will show off new designs integrating tech and clothing, the marching band Filthy FemCorps will perform, and DJs will reign over the consoles.

    COMEDY

  59. Paula Poundstone
    Paula Poundstone is a divisive comedian. She placed 88 on Comedy Central’s 2004 list of top 100 stand-ups while clocking in at No. 6 in Maxim magazine’s 2007 list of “Worst Comedians of All-Time.” Well-known for her stints on NPR’s news quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, she specializes in relatable, everyday anecdotes that come loaded with humorous twists, often glazed with self-deprecation and mild absurdity. There’s something Seinfeldian about her act, but she’s a bit goofier overall than Jerry. Poundstone’s a seasoned pro, albeit not with the spiciest ingredients. DAVE SEGAL

    FILM

  60. 'Pokémon Detective Pikachu' Opening
    Two years ago, Pokémon Go took over the world just like Pokémon Red and Blue did in the '90s, and now this: a blockbuster live-action animated Pokémon movie. Based on a 2016 Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, Detective Pikachu is the first live-action film set in the Pokémon universe, and it stars actor Justice Smith alongside a fuzzy, talking Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds. It shouldn't work, and yet when I saw the trailer, I was instantly smitten—and scared. Jigglypuff looks fucking terrifying. CHASE BURNS

  61. 'The Hustle' Opening
    Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway team up for a romp about two scam artists taking down no-good men. Chris Addison (Veep) directs.

    MUSIC

  62. Celtic Woman
    Celtic Woman, a heavily lauded group of Emerald Isle faerie queens, will perform folksy classics and traditional Irish music on their Ancient Land Tour in support of their latest album.

    READINGS & TALKS

  63. Moby: Then It Fell Apart
    Moby will chat with KUOW's Ross Reynolds about the storms of the celebrity life—"hanging out with David Bowie and Lou Reed, Christina Ricci and Madonna, taking ecstasy for breakfast, drinking bottles of vodka, and sleeping with supermodels"—and how, as the title of his new book suggests, such joys cannot last.

    MAY 10–11

    ART

  64. The BIG One: PhinneyWood Art Walk
    It's the mega-version of the regular romp through the charming neighborhoods of Phinney Ridge and Greenwood! In addition to art, there will be concerts and tasty refreshments. Bring the fam.

    MUSIC

  65. Betty Who
    Heavily biting on the dance-pop balladeers of the 1980s and ’90s, Betty Who cruises through the 2010s holding tight the influences of higher icons. Her buzz-worthy blonde bob may get more attention than her music, but Betty's latest album, The Valley, is aiming to change all that.

    MAY 11

    ART

  66. Metropolitan Fashion Week Seattle
    At this elegant bash, fashion and costume designers will display their creations. Dress in gowns and suits; no denim or tennis shoes allowed.

    MUSIC

  67. Flight To Mars, Dream Police
    The 16th annual Flight to Mars benefit show features Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Duff McKagan and friends playing as a tribute to 1970s English heavy rockers UFO, with Cheap Trick tribute band Dream Police as the opening act. Proceeds will go to Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Camp Oasis, the Jennifer Jaff Care Line for People with IBD, and the Vitalogy Foundation.

  68. Jeremy Enigk, Tomo Nakayama
    Here's the thing: Jeremy Enigk's first solo album, Return of the Frog Queen, is one of the truly epochal LPs for this region. Released in 1996 after a tumultuous period for his band Sunny Day Real Estate, this surreal collection of chamber-instrument-laced acoustic songs changed the landscape of what Seattle could sound and feel like, ushering in the next 15 years of Northwest music. And the shows at which he debuted this material remain some of the most staggering performances I ever saw. If you don't know the album, you are in for a treat. SEAN NELSON

  69. Stephen Malkmus
    Stephen Malkmus’s self-titled solo debut was hardly an about-face, but rather an extension of Pavement’s grad-school ramblings, with all the smart-alecky self-consciousness that it implies. In the 18 years since, he’s experimented with more complicated arrangements and longer instrumental passages, much like a singer-songwriter reincarnated as a prog rocker. If you can get past the awkwardly jaunty song about Freddie Gray (“Bike Lane”), last year's Sparkle Hard is another winner from one of the youngest 52-year-olds in the game. KATHY FENNESSY

    PERFORMANCE

  70. Savage Love Live
    You can catch up with a world of sexual misadventures and The Stranger's own Dan Savage's perspicacious, compassionate, and sometimes catty responses in the Savage Lovecast podcast every week. But! For an extra-special raunchy gab session, join Savage for a live talk about strangers' lurid boudoir doings (as the kids call it). With comedian Corina Lucas and musical guest Rachel Lark!

    MAY 11–12

    MUSIC

  71. Seattle Rock Orchestra — The Beatles: Abbey Road & Let It Be
    Seattle Rock Orchestra perform rock and pop filtered through an orchestral lens, and they'll pull apart two iconic Beatles albums this spring.

    MAY 11–13

    MUSIC

  72. Mac DeMarco
    Mac DeMarco has become one of the most recognizable figures in modern indie rock, and his ascendance says a lot about where the music is headed. In terms of sound (laid-back, tuneful, retro) and personality (nonchalant, candid, goofy), DeMarco is the antithesis of the buttoned-up Ben Gibbard types who typified indie in the previous decade. One need only delve into the fine print on festival bills—or read the local music listings—to find young bands that cop DeMarco’s style. Few, though, can match his ear for songwriting. ANDREW GOSPE

    MAY 11 & 15

    SPORTS & RECREATION

  73. Seattle Sounders 2019 Home Games
    Seattle's Major League Soccer team's home season will include games this month against Houston Dynamo (May 11) and Orlando City (May 15).

    MAY 12

    HOLIDAYS

  74. Mother's Day
    Take the opportunity to celebrate all the moms in your life and the moms around the world. You'll find all the ways to celebrate in Seattle on our complete Mother's Day calendar, including Unexpected Productions' Mother's Day Improv Show, the Pike Place Market Flower Festival, and Kirkland's Mother's Day Half Marathon and 5K.

    MUSIC

  75. Tom Odell
    English singer-songwriter Tom Odell will tour North America yet again promoting his latest album, Jubilee Road.

    SPORTS & RECREATION

  76. The Color Run 5K
    Run through a cloud of colored cornstarch, fling your own color packet at other racers, and finish the race looking like a human tie-dye. The price includes a t-shirt, headband, the colored powder, and a Unicorn Finisher's Medal.

    MAY 13

    MUSIC

  77. An Evening with Yann Tiersen
    Were you one of the millions whose trousers got charmed off while watching the 2001 film Amélie? Then you likely recall the score by one Yann Tiersen, the French composer whose festive, lilting themes on accordion, harpsichord, toy piano, and other non-rock instruments fortuitously soundtracked the title character’s whimsical adventures (most of the pieces were collated from earlier Tiersen recordings). That huge exposure made Tiersen a global star, and he’s gone on to cut multiple albums, including 2014's ∞ (Infinity, if you’re nasty). It’s a rich, orchestral collection that has a patina of high European culture spread lightly over everything. ∞ is a bit more elevated, delicate, and precious than 2011’s Skyline, which soared in the same slate-gray skies as Coldplay and lesser, later Sigur Rós works. Whatever the case, the Moore should sell some damn croissants at this show. DAVE SEGAL

    READINGS & TALKS

  78. Ani DiFranco
    The name Ani DiFranco (it’s pronounced Ah-knee, not Annie) may not mean much to heterosexuals or anyone under the age of 30, but this singer-songwriter was a big deal back in the 1990s and early 2000s. In addition to providing the soundtrack for legions of young queer womxn (née lesbians), DiFranco has lived a remarkable life herself, from emancipating from her family as a teenager to creating her own music label and coming of age at a time when it really wasn’t cool to be queer. She’ll talk about her life—and maybe read from her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream—when she comes to town, but there will be no musical performance. The good news: If you want to revisit the ’90s, all 21 of her studio albums are available on Spotify. KATIE HERZOG

    MAY 14

    READINGS & TALKS

  79. Jared Diamond: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
    The author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, which undertook to explain the technological discrepancies between different societies, and Collapse, an analysis of societal doom, will tackle the pressing question of how civilizations can make choices to avert catastrophe. His new book, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, takes such case studies as the Soviet invasion of Finland and the forced opening of Japan to the West. He'll bring these observations to bear on the contemporary United States.

  80. Seattle Arts & Lectures: Tayari Jones
    The plot of Jones's new book, An American Marriage, sounds all too familiar for followers of the news: An innocent African American man, Roy, is arrested for a crime he's not guilty of, and his imprisonment and degradation strain his relationship with his wife, Celestial. In an interview with Tin House, Jones hinted at her interest in the topic: "The idea of incarceration looming as just one misunderstanding away has always been part of my understanding of the world. As a matter of fact, writing this I always thought that this was the least interesting part of the story. [...] For me, the challenge lies in the collateral effects." Jones will be interview by Lisa Lucas, director of the National Book Foundation.

    MAY 14–19

    PERFORMANCE

  81. School of Rock
    Dewey Finn is a substitute teacher who turns his class into one huge rock band. Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed 14 new songs for this new musical, based on the Richard Linklater-Jack Black film.

    MAY 15

    MUSIC

  82. Snow Patrol, Billie Marten, Ryan McMullan
    Irish indie rockers Snow Patrol have been at it for 14 years, and will return to Seattle to perform tracks from their new album, Wildness.

    READINGS & TALKS

  83. Adam Savage: Every Tool’s a Hammer
    Get creative inspiration from Adam Savage, known to you as one the science daredevils of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters. Drawing from his new book, Every Tool's a Hammer, he'll talk about how to get ideas and follow through with them.

  84. Pop-up Magazine
    Pop-up Magazine is a traveling multimedia show with music, video, photography, radio, and talks, all live onstage. None of it will be recorded, so you'll have to be there to experience it!

    MAY 16

    FOOD & DRINK

  85. Magnuson Thursday Night Market
    Partake a smorgasbord of street food, including rolled ice cream from SÜSU, drinks from Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonades, and Mexican-Asian fusion food from Phorale.

    MUSIC

  86. Hieroglyphics, Rap Noir, Stoney Hawk, Grandmasters, S.A.V.E. 1
    Notorious rap crew Hieroglyphics will reunite for a show with Rap Noir, Stoney Hawk, and the Grandmasters. Members include Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual, Domino, DJ Toure, Pep Love, and Souls Of Mischief (A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai).

    READINGS & TALKS

  87. Eat Read Hugo
    Hugo House is a significant force in Seattle’s literary arts scene, home to a wellspring of creativity, from readings to workshops to youth outreach programs—“a place where you can read words, hear words, and make your own words better.” This annual fundraiser includes dinner by seasonal caterers Herban Feast, a live auction of unique items and experiences you probably want to bid on, and a talk by special guest author Laurie Frankel (This Is How It Always Is, Goodbye for Now). Proceeds help Hugo House in its efforts to bring all those fantastic authors to its stage and give scholarships and fellowships to emerging writers, because this isn’t a career that pays, people. The newbs need all the support they can get, and Hugo House does its part to offer it. You should, too. Go eat and be merry for a good cause. LEILANI POLK

  88. Tess Gallagher: Is, Is Not
    Gallagher's natural, fluid narrative poetry is much admired by her peers and by critics such as Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times. She is, incidentally, the widow of Raymond Carver and the scion of a Northwest logging family. Is, Is Not is the Port Angeles writer's 12th published book.

    MAY 16–17

    MUSIC

  89. Local Natives, Middle Kids
    West Coast-obsessed Silver Lake indie rockers Local Natives share work from their latest album on their Spiral Choir Tour with Australian power trio Middle Kids.

    MAY 16 & 18

    MUSIC

  90. Pixar in Concert
    See your favorite childhood films in a new light as the Seattle Symphony performs classic Pixar film scores by Randy Newman, Patrick Doyle, Thomas Newman, and Michael Giacchino as their accompanying scenes play in a high-definition montage, with clips from every one of Pixar’s 14 films—including Cars, WALL-E, Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and Brave.

    MAY 16–18

    FESTIVALS

  91. Fisherman's Village Music Festival 2019
    Celebrate the efforts of the Everett Music Initiative with this weekend festival, now in its sixth year, spread over several beloved local venues, with live sets from local and touring talents. Headliners this year will include Wolf Parade, Travis Thompson, the Coathangers, and Laura Veirs, with featured sets by Pickwick, Death Valley Girls, Parisalexa, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and many more.

    PERFORMANCE

  92. FagGod
    Local theater and poetry stars Dani Tirrell, Naa Akua, and Anastasia Renee will perform their multidisciplinary work-in-progress about the HIV/AIDS epidemic under President Ronald Reagan. They promise to consider such questions as "Were the places of safety also places of death? Who and what was idolized? How did the Reagan administration fail the country during that time?"

    MAY 16–19

    PERFORMANCE

  93. Ligia Lewis: Sorrow Swag
    If your spring has been light on slightly academic explorations of sadness, sex, and rage, then On the Boards has your back with its season closer, the unfinished BLUE, RED, WHITE triptych by Ligia Lewis. Sorrow Swag examines "race, authorship, gender, and grief" through the figure of a white, male boxer in a blue room. His lines are a mishmash of playwright Jean Anouilh's Antigone (Sophocles's great defense of civil disobedience) and Samuel Beckett's Not I (a freaky-ass, manic monologue delivered in almost total darkness by an actor whose entire body has been painted black, except for the mouth). The show should bust up any lingering notion you have about the stability of identity. Recommended pairing: minor matter, the second show in Lewis's tryptic. For this one, Lewis drops two dancers in a pool of red lights and lets them duke out their "urges of love and rage." RICH SMITH

    MAY 16–25

    PERFORMANCE

  94. 14/48: Nordo – Food Theater Thunderdome V
    Four playwrights and chefs with a randomly chosen cast and director create a paired play and four-course dinner with a randomly chosen secret ingredient in this collaboration with the 14/48 Projects. They only have four days to come up with the whole thing.

    MAY 16–JUNE 9

    FILM

  95. Seattle International Film Festival 2019
    The 45th annual Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States, with more than 400 films (spread over 25 days) watched by around 150,000 people at nine theaters across the city. It's impressively grand and one of the most exciting and widely attended arts events Seattle has to offer. Opening night will feature local filmmaker Lynn Shelton's Sword of Trust, with Shelton and star Marc Maron as guests. A few selections from this year's crop have been announced, and they look unmissable: new films by Olivier Assayas (known for Personal Shopper and more), Peter Strickland (known for The Duke of Burgundy), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Denys Arcand (The Decline of the American Empire), Jafar Panahi (This Is Not a Film) and Werner Herzog (The Cave of Forgotten Dreams), plus intriguing works by less familiar names. The closing night film will be the Awkwafina-starring The Farewell, a drama by Lulu Wang.

    MAY 17

    FESTIVALS

  96. Syttende Mai
    To mark the signing of the Norwegian Constitution at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814, Norway celebrates Syttende Mai with parades and festivities all over the world. While the biggest procession takes place in the city of Bergen, Seattle's most Nordic neighborhood, Ballard, also hosts a consistently large turnout of spectators as marching bands and drill teams galavant down the street waving Norwegian flags. After the parade, head to the Nordic Museum to enjoy a traditional luncheon and extended gallery hours. At night, they'll also have special Nordic cocktails, a fashion show, and live musical performances.

    FILM

  97. 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' Opening
    Keanu Reeves is back as Wick, trying to dodge basically every hitperson on Earth after killing a member of the High Table assassins’ guild. Also starring Halle Berry and Laurence Fishburne.

    FOOD & DRINK

  98. Stem: Wine Tasting Event
    Explore the science behind your favorite fermented grape beverage at this after-hours museum field trip for adults, where you can sip as many samples as you can handle. Talk to reps from Washington wineries and learn all about their processes, from vine to glass.

    MUSIC

  99. American Football, Illuminati Hotties
    Illinois rock band American Football got big in the late '90s and will continue their stronghold on the genre with a live set and support by Illuminati Hotties.

  100. Keith Sweat
    Anyone who had sex in the '90s owes their good fortune to the slick R&B of easy listening (and platinum-selling) legend Keith Sweat.

  101. Robin Trower
    One of the great British blues-rock guitarists Robin Trower filigreed into international consciousness with Procol Harum, playing on that proto-prog group's first five critically lauded albums. In 1973, he started putting out records under his own name, hitting big with 1974's Bridge of Sighs. The title track is one of those ponderous, ominous songs that blot out the sun with a righteous despondency—a paragon of blues-rock that’s far beyond the reach of the Black Keys and their ilk. (See also “It's Only Money” from For Earth Below.) Trower's snarling yet aerated tone and laid-back fluidity lend his tunes an expansiveness that elevates them above most in this genre. No less a legend than Robert Fripp counts Trower (now 70) as an inspiration and mentor. Don't be surprised if Trower honors his own hero—Jimi Hendrix—tonight. DAVE SEGAL

    READINGS & TALKS

  102. Angela Davis: Freedom is a Constant Struggle
    A truly important figure is visiting near Seattle: Angela Y. Davis, black liberation fighter, former political prisoner, pro-Palestinian advocate, and Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Hear her read from her book of essays, fully titled Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, wherein she draws parallels between different forms of resistance to the state all over the world.

    MAY 17–JUNE 3

    PERFORMANCE

  103. The Arsonists
    From the theater company that produced Hamlet in a mansion on First Hill, The Horse In Motion presents this site-specific "absurdist political parable" at Gallery Erato in historic Pioneer Square, where "the Seattle Great Fire raged over a century ago." The play is about a group of fire-starters who convince people into letting them inside their houses. Once they're allowed in, guess what they do? Expect plenty of parallels to the Trump administration, and lots of uncomfortable laughter. RICH SMITH

    MAY 17–JUNE 23

    PERFORMANCE

  104. Tiny Beautiful Things
    Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) has adapted Cheryl Strayed's story of writing an advice column under the pseudonym Sugar, yielding a play about empathy, healing, tough love, and kindness.

    MAY 17–JUNE 29

    ART

  105. Liz Tran: Innerverse
    See brightly colored, exuberant paintings by Liz Tran. The dominant shapes are circles. Circles that look like gears in a machine that creates happiness from a movie set in a flower-power utopia. JEN GRAVES

    MAY 18

    FESTIVALS

  106. Rainier Dragon Boat Festival
    Watch from the shore as dragon boat crews race each other on the water.

    FOOD & DRINK

  107. Bothell Block Party & Brewfest
    Partake in fare from local food trucks, sip beer from local breweries, and listen to music from Seattle bands.

  108. Green Lake Food Walk 2019
    Billing itself as the food-world analogue to an art walk, this event will allow guests to peruse the eateries of Green Lake and try different dishes from a variety of establishments. You can sample vegan doughnuts from Mighty-O Donuts, wacky shakes and behemoth burgers from Lunchbox Laboratory, food from PCC Community Markets, frozen yogurt from Zoe Yogurt, Hawaiian-style burgers from Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, and espresso, smoothies, and acai from Brazilian coffeehouse Kitanda. The event will also host a beer garden with live music.

  109. Pierogi Fest 2019
    To know pierogi, the absurdly comforting and starchy Polish dumplings, is to love them. This wildly popular yearly event from the Polish Cultural Center offers an opportunity to shovel the petite pockets of dough into your face by the plateful, with fillings like potato and cheese; meat, sauerkraut and mushrooms; and blueberries. Plus, try other Polish dishes and beer, take in performances from Polish Choir Vivat Musica, and peruse a marketplace with Polish art, decorations, clothing, accessories, and more.

    MUSIC

  110. Double Major Festival
    Western Washington University's annual benefit show will host ODESZA and Death Cab for Cutie this year at a sold out fest that will have its proceeds donated to WWU’s Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment.

  111. Orville Peck
    Masked shoegaze-country bard Orville Peck will perform tracks from his critically acclaimed debut album Pony.

  112. Thomas Rhett, Dustin Lynch
    Frequent Top 40 denizen and CMT darling Thomas Rhett, who wins audiences with his pop and rock-influenced country tracks, will hit the road this year on his Very Hot Summer tour with support from Dustin Lynch.

    READINGS & TALKS

  113. Brian Cox
    Neil deGrasse Tyson has likened Brian Cox to Carl Sagan, which is an impressive vote of confidence. Cox might have a bit more swag: He’s an ex-musician (including membership in D:Ream, of “Things Can Only Get Better” fame) and is currently a physicist and a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. He has lent his expertise to a variety of science and space programs for the BBC, given talks on topics like AI and entropy, and spreads knowledge in a down-to-earth, cultured, accessible manner. For this particular event, he’ll use spectacular “state-of-the-art imagery” on giant high-def screens to “explore the nature of science and time from the big bang to black holes,” among other things. LEILANI POLK

    MAY 18–19

    COMEDY

  114. Nate Bargatze: Good Problem To Have
    Tennessee's Nate Bargatze (The Tonight Show) has been called "a comic who should be big" by Marc Maron. Given that he's the son of a clown/magician, he has weirder observational humor than most.

    FESTIVALS

  115. University District Streetfair
    The University District's iconic street fair will return for the 50th year, filling the Ave with food, shopping, crafts, and music.

  116. Wanderlust Festival
    This two-day festival is all about wellness, both mental and physical, featuring everything from yoga sessions to breathwork hula hoop fitness to myth-busting talks to silent discos.

    GEEK & GAMING

  117. Minefaire
    Minecraft players can get their kicks by meeting YouTube gaming celebs, competing in tournaments and costume contests, witnessing live stage shows, and more at this geeky extravaganza dedicated to the extremely popular sandbox video game.

    MAY 19

    FOOD & DRINK

  118. Lamb Jam Seattle
    At this competition brought to you by Tasty Creative and the American Lamb Board, 16 rising-star chefs will duke it out to concoct the ultimate lamb dish and be crowned the Lamb Jam Seattle Champion. Lamb belly ramen? Lamb ham Cubanos? Anything goes. The global flavor categories include Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern, and the competition will include chefs from laudable local establishments like Lark, Spinasse, Omega Ouzeri, Lola, Heartwood Provisions, and Sawyer, to name a few. Meanwhile, bartenders, brewers, winemakers, and other culinary artisans will round out the experience. The Seattle “best in show” winner will advance to the next round to contend with the finalists from Austin, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, in a finale to be proclaimed “Lamb Jam Master."

    MUSIC

  119. Art Garfunkel
    American songbook legend and general beloved weirdo Art Garfunkel will bring his decades of folk-pop experience, myriad of chart-topping hits, and literal thousands of miles walked and the memories therein to Seattle.

    SPORTS & RECREATION

  120. Beat the Bridge
    Help fund diabetes research through JDRF by running in Nordstrom's annual Beat the Bridge 5 or 8K. Your goal is to cross the University Bridge before it's raised at the two-mile mark, but if you don't make it in time, you won't have to turn around—there will be live music and more festivities as the bridge makes its way back down.

    MAY 19–21

    READINGS & TALKS

  121. National Geographic Live — Day to Night
    In the latest multimedia show led by a NatGeo photographer, Stephen Wilkes will show how photos can change public perceptions. He has experience in the matter: According to publicity materials, his long-term study of Ellis Island's south side led to a restoration of its historical medical buildings, while his snapshots of the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy called attention to climate change. He'll give you insight into his latest series, Day to Night, in which he composites images taken from a stationary camera over 30 hours.

    MAY 20

    MUSIC

  122. 4U: The Music of Prince with Symphony
    Experience the soulful music of industry legend Prince with the backing of a full symphony.

  123. Elle King, Barns Courtney
    Bluesy singer-songwriter Elle King will return to Seattle with Barns Courtney on her Shake the Spirit tour in promotion of her latest album.

  124. Insane Clown Posse, Rittz, Mushroomhead, DJ Paul & Ouija Macc, Kissing Candice
    Insane Clown Posse is rolling back into town on tour, within which they'll be performing from their vast discography, which is either very good or very bad news depending on your personal brand. They'll be joined by Rittz, Mushroomhead, DJ Paul & Ouija Macc, and Kissing Candice on this parade of hardcore savagery and white rap.

  125. Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis
    Jorja Smith has proven herself more than just a collaborator (and possible paramour) of Drake, who featured her on several songs on his 2017 More Life album. And despite inevitable comparisons to Amy Winehouse due to the soulful range of her voice, Smith brings a graceful intimacy and a fresh sophistication to jazz-infused R&B that is all her own. AMBER CORTES

    READINGS & TALKS

  126. Bob Newhart
    The comedian and actor Bob Newhart (Elf, The Big Bang Theory, and, of course, The Bob Newhart Show) will speak about a lifetime of dealing out deadpan humor.

    MAY 20–21

    MUSIC

  127. Neil Young with Promise of the Real
    Neil Young, folk-rock lifer and arguably one of the better Canadian exports, will hit the trails this spring and visit Seattle for a live set with on-loan backing band Promise of the Real.

    MAY 21

    MUSIC

  128. Jenny Lewis
    Alt-folk songstress and queen of the empty dance floor Jenny Lewis will return to Seattle for the first time in years to promote her latest album, On the Line.

  129. Lila Downs
    Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer Lila Downs will share exactly what makes her such an impactful performer with bilingual tracks that blend the folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America with North American folk, jazz, blues, and hiphop.

    READINGS & TALKS

  130. Jericho Brown
    Every time you think a Jericho Brown poem is about to drown in sentimentality or gushy eroticism, he makes a turn that freezes you solid, or boils you over, or completely vaporizes you. Look no further than every single love poem in his 2014 book The New Testament, which rightly scooped up a bunch of awards for its lyrical beauty and its incisive and understandably cynical perspective on the potential for true racial justice in America. RICH SMITH

  131. Word Works: Steve Almond on Rendering the Interior Life
    Almond (Against Football, Candyfreak) will hark back to his grad school-era discovery of Stoner by John Williams, which informed his own approach to depicting characters' interior lives. Attend to glean some wisdom for your own writing.

    MAY 22

    MUSIC

  132. Juanes
    Hugely popular Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes will tour through our fair city in support of his latest album, La Plata.

  133. The Strumbellas
    Six-piece folk collective the Strumbellas have seen increased success in response to their pop-country fusion sound. They'll play a full set tonight in promotion of their latest album.

    READINGS & TALKS

  134. Karen Russell: Orange World and Other Stories
    Karen Russell's trademark Americana magical realism and lush prose power her latest collection of stories, Orange World. Though "magical realism" can be a bit of a cuss in certain circles, Russell never relies on pure quirk to stun readers into a stupor. Her characters are real. Her situations are real. The problems her stories tackle are real. It's just that some of them involve peat moss cutters falling in love with petrified bog people. That story, by the way, "Bog Girl: A Romance," is a hilarious and kind of touching critique of our habit of loving the idea of someone rather than actually loving someone, and it's a good place to start in this collection. Other stories involve a mother striking a Faustian deal to protect her child, and a town full of people who auction off artisanal tornadoes. RICH SMITH

    MAY 23

    MUSIC

  135. JoJo Siwa
    JoJo Siwa, a Nickelodeon star and teenage YouTube sensation, will show an otherworldly level of human excitement at her D.R.E.A.M. tour stop, which will feature her latest sparkle-pop efforts.

  136. The Specials
    The elder statesmen of the UK’s late-1970s 2 Tone ska movement appropriated the mod style and Jamaican-grown, ska-rocksteady sounds of the 1960s and infused it with the punk effusiveness (if not its raw kick-ass sonic qualities) of their era as led by the lazy, brogue-soaked singsong lead vocals of Terry Hall. In all likelihood, you’ve heard “Friday Night, Saturday Morning” (“I go out on Friday night and I come home on Saturday morning…”) at a party; they also covered the upbeat, skanky “Monkey Man” (the one by the Maytals, not the Stones) and produced the spooky, vaguely exotic “Ghost Town,” which you may remember being tapped for 2000 Brad Pitt flick Snatch. In sum, the group has chops and longevity, having performed together on and off for the past four decades. LEILANI POLK

    READINGS & TALKS

  137. SAL Presents: The Moth Mainstage
    Listeners of The Moth know the deal: each storyslammer has a short period of time to tell a compelling story, whether poignant, funny, tragic, or edifying. For this edition, five slammers have worked extensively with the staff of The Moth to develop their tales.

    MAY 23–24

    MUSIC

  138. Tedeschi Trucks Band
    Twelve-piece tour-de-force Tedeschi Trucks Band joins the power of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks with a full crew of award-winning guitarists, two belting vocalists, dual drummers, a three- piece horn section, bass, and a multi-instrumentalist keyboard player to present themselves as the vanguard of modern roots music.

    MAY 24

    FILM

  139. 'Aladdin' Opening
    Will Smith’s face trapped CGI-style in the bulbous blue Genie body has already launched a thousand memes. Directed extravagantly by Guy Ritchie.

  140. 'Booksmart' Opening
    In Olivia Wilde's debut, two studious high school girls who try to cram four years of partying into one night. Critics are loving its funny, rude approach to the coming-of-age genre.

  141. 'Brightburn' Opening
    This highly anticipated horror/sci-fi movie is a dark-universe version of Superman. A childless couple joyfully adopts an alien baby that looks just like a human...but is something much more powerful and (arguably) more destructive.

    MUSIC

  142. Carrie Underwood, Maddie & Tae, Runaway June
    Country music golden girl Carrie Underwood has a sharpened pop sensibility with the curated style of a flag-waving backcountry woman. She'll be showcasing tracks from Cry Pretty, her sixth studio album, with supporting acts Maddie & Tae and Runaway June.

  143. Higher Brothers
    Chengdu’s Higher Brothers are China’s biggest-profile rap group. They dab, wear Supreme, and rap over trap beats just like most young American famous rappers, but they aren’t lyrically bustin’ any joogs, totin’ any sticks, or sippin' any mud—the affect is Migos, the content Macklemore. Asian hiphop has been poised to go worldwide ever since Korean MC Keith Ape blew off the doors with 2015’s “It G Ma”—but the cultural conversation at the heart of all this is still fraught. On one side there are Asian rappers with dreads or ones calling themselves “Rich Chigga,” and on the other side there is Black American rappers’ rampant fetishization of Asian women, unrelenting anime references, and, occasionally, freely flying slurs. So, hiphop once presumed that young whites bumping Ice-T would end racism here—we saw how that worked out. Will it be mutually assured exploitation or a chance to grow? LARRY MIZELL JR.

    READINGS & TALKS

  144. Hugo Literary Series: Stranger in a Strange Land
    Robert Heinlein's sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land, about a messianic outsider born on Mars who travels to Earth, will inspire the second in the Hugo Literary Series, with excellent writers like National Book Award finalist Domingo Martinez (The Boy Kings of Texas and My Heart Is a Drunken Compass), Terese Mailhot (Heart Berries), and Margaret Malone (People Like You). Folk singer Bryan John Appleby will sing some original tunes.

    MAY 24–25

    MUSIC

  145. IMPFest XI
    The Improvised Music Project will throw itself an 11th birthday party. This year, UW faculty and students will be joined by special guests for two days of improvised tunes and jazzy free-form. Headliners and guest artists will include Lucia Pulido (voice, cuatro) and Stomu Takeishi (bass).

    MAY 24–27

    FESTIVALS

  146. 26th Annual Juan de Fuca Festival
    Fans of music, comedy, and dance will fill the lovely waterfront town of Port Angeles with melodies and festivities for a whole weekend this spring.

  147. Northwest Folklife Festival
    The goal of Folklife is noble as heck: “We envision strong communities, united by arts and culture… When people share aspects of their culture, opportunities are created to dissolve misunderstandings, break down stereotypes, and increase respect for one another.” What does this translate to? A gigantic Memorial Day weekend hippie fest full of lovely people dancing, performing world music from “yodeling to beatboxing” and everything in between, serving tasty street food, and leading workshops in arts and crafts. It’s a great, if potentially overwhelming, people-watching experience, plus a great way to see local music. The 2019 spotlight is "Youth Rising."

    MAY 25

    PERFORMANCE

  148. Derek Hough: Live! The Tour
    Dancing with the Stars Emmy winner Hough will embark on his first solo tour, melding hiphop, salsa, tap, and ballroom.

    MAY 25–26

    FESTIVALS

  149. Hood Canal Shrimpfest
    Venture out to the rich waters of the Hood Canal for this shrimp- and seafood-centric weekend festival featuring craft and food booths, local music, belt sander races, exhibits, activities for kids, and more.

    MAY 26

    MUSIC

  150. Zveri
    Internationally acclaimed Russian pop-rock band Zveri will play their biggest and best hits from their seven studio albums with surprise special guests.

    MAY 28

    MUSIC

  151. August Alsina
    Hiphop and R&B singer August Alsina will show off his melodic, hooky work with a live set.

  152. Snarky Puppy
    Led by bassist, composer, and producer Michael League, this Brooklyn-based collective encompasses 19 members, though mostly they rotate in and out when on the road, with anywhere from eight to 12 instrumentalists appearing on stage at any given time. Snarky Puppy have taken home three Grammys for their upbeat, brass-saturated (occasionally flute-stroked) take on groovy, funky, R&B imbued jazz fusion. It can get a little smooth at times, but it’s far more full-bodied than the sounds you hear from Kenny G types. LEILANI POLK

    MAY 29

    COMEDY

  153. Schitt's Creek: Up Close & Personal
    Daniel and Eugene Levy's well-received comedy about a formerly rich family forced to live in an embarrassingly named town they once bought for a laugh will be transposed to the stage. If this involves the wildly funny Levys and Catherine O'Hara, it should be good no matter what.

    FOOD & DRINK

  154. Salt & Straw Ice Cream Pop-Up
    Witness a live ice cream demonstration with the Portland-based artisan ice creamery Salt & Straw's co-founder and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek, then sample the results. He'll also sign copies of the newly released Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook.

    READINGS & TALKS

  155. John Waters: Mr. Know-It-All

    Legendary cult director/noted Baltimore resident/mustache-haver John Waters will read from his new book Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder, which draws on his experience "fail[ing] upward in Hollywood," building a hideous house, and "cheat[ing] death." Perhaps you too can learn how to be a king (or other royal) of sleaze?

    MAY 29–30

    MUSIC

  156. Jurassic Park in Concert
    Witness man versus beast in the classic Spielberg film Jurassic Park as it gets the Seattle Symphony treatment with a high-definition screening set amidst a live performance of John Williams’ iconic score.

    MAY 29–JUNE 2

    FESTIVALS

  157. Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival 2019
    The Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival will feature free and ticketed events for all ages and tastes. This year's headliners will include Deva Mahal and Dr. Lonnie Smith with his trio.

    MAY 30

    COMEDY

  158. Rainn Wilson & Friends
    He's much more than Dwight Schrute from The Office. He's also an author and philanthropist, and he's been a voice on Adventure Time! He'll appear with pals Joel McHale, Chris Ballew, Rachael (of Lake Street Dive) and Vilray, Jack Lenz and the Montreal Diversity Youth Choir, and others to benefit the Mona Foundation.

    MAY 30–JUNE 1

    FESTIVALS

  159. Northwest Terror Fest 2019
    For the third year in a row, Northwest Terror Fest will be dosing Capitol Hill with three days’ worth of loud noises ranging from the gnarliest of grindcore to the spaciest of doom. From Thursday through Saturday, the main shows will be held at Neumos and Barboza, with packed lineups all evening long, and legends Cirith Ungol, Wolf Brigade, and Pig Destroyer headlining each night. Aftershows will be held just down the street at Highline, and will feature performances by Bongzilla on Thursday, Year of the Cobra on Friday, and Bongripper on Saturday. KEVIN DIERS

    MAY 31

    FILM

  160. 'Ma' Opening
    A lonely middle-aged lady is weirdly willing to let a bunch of drunk white teens party at her house. Pro: This gory-looking Blumhouse horror flick stars Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water, Hidden Figures). Con: Iffy racial optics? Keep in mind the director is Tate Taylor, who did The Help. That might put doubts in some people's minds.

  161. 'Rocketman' Opening
    The studio bills this as “a musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.” Starring Taron Egerton, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Richard Madden.

    MUSIC

  162. Rainbow Kitten Surprise
    Chart-topping North Carolina group Rainbow Kitten Surprise employ a Southern folk inflection in their indie alternative rock more subtle than their name, with neat harmonies and expansive instrumentation standing out as key methods.

    PERFORMANCE

  163. Last Podcast on the Left
    Delight your ghoulish sensibilities with a live edition of this frighteningly addictive comedic podcast dedicated to freaky and violent real-life events (or events that a lot of people believe in), including cultish shenanigans, demonic apparitions, alien abductions, and more. Join Marcus Parks, Henry Zabrowski, and Ben Kissel to "laugh at things you will probably feel guilty about later." (True enough, but the humor is at the expense of killers and charlatans—and the occasional Slender Man erotic fanfic—so let that temper your shame as you will.)

    THROUGH MAY 31

    ART

  164. Odd Jelly Out: Introversion
    The latest sculpture project from Missy Douglas and Kim Rask, Odd Jelly Out was apparently a big hit at Burning Man last year. It’s easy to see why. Encountering one of these giant puppies while you’re off your tits on acid, ’shrooms, or some other psychedelic in the middle of the desert must engender some sort of spiritual awakening. Though perhaps not instantly recognizable to Americans, these large-scale sculptures draw inspiration from Jelly Babies, a type of British candy. Hand cast and created from fiberglass, normal glass, mirror, and steel, each sculpture contains an internal LED light that makes it glow in the dark. JASMYNE KEIMIG

    MAY 31–JUNE 1

    COMEDY

  165. Puddles Pity Party
    The extremely popular "sad clown with the golden voice" presents his downcast live production featuring a mopey clown, absurdism, and some laughs.

    FOOD & DRINK

  166. Summer Solstice Night Market 2019
    Revel in over 150 booths and a summer beer festival with live music.

    MAY 31–JUNE 2

    FESTIVALS

  167. Bellingham Arts & Music Festival 2019
    The Bellingham Arts & Music Festival—which once aimed to celebrate "as much of the city's art as possible" in 24 hours—will double its programming this year for a full 48 hours of live music, art installations, workshops, comedy, vendors, flow arts, and more.

  168. HONK! Fest West
    This family-oriented festival gets you in on the brass, percussion, and street band "global renaissance." Twenty-five or more bands will jam in streets and parks around Seattle as they celebrate this democratic and ebullient musical genre.

    PERFORMANCE

  169. Cirque Goes Broadway
    Now this is gilding the lily in a highly entertaining way: Acrobats and aerialists will dance to live Broadway music, performed by none other than the Seattle Symphony.

    MAY 31–JUNE 9

    PERFORMANCE

  170. Themes and Variations
    See masterpieces by George Balanchine (Theme and Variations and Tarantella), Jose Limon (The Moor's Pavane), and Price Suddarth (Signature) at this Pacific Northwest Ballet production.

    MAY 31–JUNE 23

    PERFORMANCE

  171. Pass Over
    Antoinette Nwandu's play, written partially in response to the slaying of Trayvon Martin and borrowing the format of Waiting for Godot with a dose of the biblical Exodus story, enjoyed a run at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York this past summer. Before that, in Chicago, it was the catalyst for some fierce controversy for its depiction of a racist white police officer, which one prominent critic of the Sun-Times decried as ignoring "black-on-black" violence. The Chicago theater scene responded angrily, and Nwandu herself penned an insightful defense: "Reconciliation is impossible without an honest conversation about who is angry at whom, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to present a reality that most black audience members identify with and find cathartic in a historically white institutional space." You'll have a chance to see Nwandu's acclaimed work, a testament to the forces driving Black Lives Matter and the search for the promised land. Nataki Garrett will direct.

  172. West Side Story
    "In truth, they rarely ever made musicals like West Side Story, a show conceived a half-century ago by acclaimed choreographer/director Jerome Robbins along with fellow Broadway legends Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents. You've seen the movie, you've heard the songs, you're well-familiar with the Romeo and Juliet-inspired 1950s New York street-gang setting. A musical that tells its story as much through dance as it does through song or dialogue, this is Robbins's masterpiece. Arguably Bernstein's too. The material deserves every plaudit it has ever received. Let's just leave it at that." – Excerpted from a 2012 review by Goldy

    THROUGH JUNE 2

    PERFORMANCE

  173. Nina Simone: Four Women
    The play opens with a character based on Nina Simone, Peaches, playing “I Loves You, Porgy,” the signature tune of the jazz singer/pianist’s pre-protest-song era. The performance, however, is disrupted by the cries of the four girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, church bombing. In the second act, Nina meets another black woman, Sarah, in the ruins of the church. It soon becomes clear that Sarah, a committed member of the church, is opposed to Nina's radicalization. "I ain't into that radical business," Sarah says. The question at the core of the play becomes clear: Do we rebuild the church or destroy the current racist society? For Peaches/Simone, the answer is clear: Because there is nothing good about American society, it must be exploded and completely rebuilt from scratch. The ruins of the Alabama church should become the ruins of racism in America. CHARLES MUDEDE

  174. Urinetown: The Musical
    The themes of scarcity, greed, populism, and capitalism running amok make the triple Tony-winning post-apocalyptic musical Urinetown, with music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, and book by Kotis, a perfect satire for our times. This is a co-production with the 5th Avenue Theater.